PRAT Program Marks 50th Year with Scientific Symposium

PRAT Symposium Speakers

Steven Paul, Weill Cornell

Jacqueline Crawley, UCSD

Richard Weinshilboum, Mayo Clinic

Katherine Roche, NIH

James Stevens, Eli Lilly

Jennifer Elisseeff, Johns Hopkins

Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, NIH

Elizabeth Grice, U Penn

Robert Ruffolo, Jr., Wyeth (retired)

Henry Bourne, USCF

In the years since the first cohort of postdoctoral fellows entered the NIGMS Pharmacology Research Associate (PRAT) program in 1965, the program’s alumni have become leaders in pharmacology, neuroscience, cell biology and related fields across multiple career sectors, including academia, government and industry. On November 6, we’ll mark the accomplishments of the more than 400 PRAT alumni in a full-day scientific symposium on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD.

The symposium will feature presentations by 10 alumni spanning the duration of the program and is free and open to the public, although we encourage you to register to attend. If you can’t be there in person, you can watch the event live or later. If you have comments, anecdotes, historical data or photos from the PRAT program, please let us know by writing a note in the comments box on the meeting registration site or by sending me an e-mail message.

The PRAT Program Today

Although the PRAT program arose to train more individuals in the field of pharmacology, the program broadened over time and had a name change to reflect that. The NIGMS Postdoctoral Research Associate program now supports fellows in all research areas within the NIGMS mission. Fellows work in NIH intramural research program labs and also receive scientific and career mentoring and professional development training in areas such as oral presentation skills, grant writing and leadership.

If you know of graduate students or early postdoctoral scholars who may be interested in the PRAT program, please encourage them to contact me, read my previous Feedback Loop blog post and visit the PRAT Web site for more information.

The due date for Grants.gov submission of applications for the 2016 incoming class of PRAT fellows is October 2.

3 comments on “PRAT Program Marks 50th Year with Scientific Symposium

  1. It is a shame that one can pass through NIH as a fellow without leaving a trace. Universities keep records of students but NIH has a famously poor institutional memory. I am one of the “more than 400 PRAT alumni” but NIGMS seems to have forgotten about me. “A key goal [of the PRAT program] has been to support the development of leaders in pharmacological research in academia, industry and government.” How would anyone know if the goal has been met? Where are the PRAT alumni and what are they are doing in their careers? It would be nice if alumni had been informed of the “50th Anniversary Scientific Symposium.” I wasn’t. (I stumbled on the web site purely by chance.)

  2. We’re sorry that this post preceded our email invitation to PRAT alumni, which will be going out shortly. We do hope as many alumni as possible are able to attend. We plan to present data about career outcomes at the symposium.

  3. I’m looking forward to receiving the email invitation. However, the symposium is November 6, 2015. If NIGMS was serious about having former PRAT fellows attend, notification should have gone out months ago. I suggest that NIGMS post a directory of former PRAT fellows on the web. This will build a community and allow an individual’s PRAT status (if, for example, listed on a CV) to be verified.

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